Anybody else finding it hard to get juiced for this Eagles season?
The pandemic obviously put the clamps on offseason activities, resulting in a virtual draft, no rookie camp, and then the outright cancellation of the four warm up games that serve as an appetizer for the regular season. It just hasn’t been the typical run-up to a proper NFL campaign.
Maybe it will click when the Flyers’ postseason run comes to an end, which allows us to shift our focus to football, but right now we’re 10 days away from the season opener and it feels like there’s much less enthusiasm than usual for the Eagles, especially because fans won’t be in the stadiums and the great atmospheres that define the National Football League just won’t be a thing.
What’s really killing it for me though is INJURIES, and I feel like Jack Nicholson in The Departed talking about the “gnawing, teething, fucking rat” that continues to disrupt his operation while being a perpetual thorn in the side. Two straight years (three, really) of nonstop injuries is really just deflating a lot of the excitement that should balloon in August and September before a typical Eagles season.
- Carson Wentz: the franchise quarterback, with a lengthy injury history, is currently not practicing because he has a soft tissue thing
- Jalen Reagor: the first round draft pick hurt himself tackling a safety after Jalen Hurts threw an interception in practice
- Will Parks: the veteran free agent safety who intercepted that ball apparently has a hamstring issue and is out for “weeks”
- Alshon Jeffery: the out-of-fan-favor receiver, who everybody thinks was snitching on his team, continues to be unavailable
- Miles Sanders: the stud sophomore running back should be okay for week one, but is also not practicing
- Brandon Brooks: one of the best right guards in football, he’s out for the year
- Andre Dillard: starting left tackle, second-year guy, also out for the year
- Jason Peters: comes back to play right tackle for Brooks, now reportedly wants more money to go back to left tackle, resulting in A LEFT TACKLE NOW PLAYING RIGHT GUARD AND A RIGHT GUARD (MATT PRYOR) PLAYING LEFT TACKLE
- Javon Hargrave: big offseason signing with a pectoral injury, not practicing
- Genard Avery: carted off the field last week, luckily it’s reportedly just a bone bruise
- Vinny Curry: lower body injury
- Hassan Ridgeway: lower body injury, day to day
- Avonte Maddox: lower body injury, day to day
It’s just depressing, all of it.
So here’s the question –
What are you really, truly, excited for in week one? I’m looking forward to watching Darius Slay, who should be the best corner the Eagles have had in years. I’m really interested to see how surgically-repaired DeSean Jackson looks, plus some of the young draft picks, like John Hightower. I’m happy to see Greg Ward starting in the slot and intrigued by the Jalen Mills-to-safety experiment as well.
Beyond that? Not much. I’m sure they’ll go down to Washington in 10 days and chase Dwayne Haskins all around the field en route to a 27-17 win, and that will be a nice positive to pull us out of our COVID depression, but it’s hard for me to get amped up for this season when half of the team is injured (again) before it even begins.
Surely I can’t be the only person who feels this way.